Super Crane Successfully Completes First Lift on New NY Bridge Project

I LIFT NY hoists massive 600-ton foundation element into place April 24th

One of the world’s largest floating cranes this morning successfully completed the first of many enormous lifts for the New NY Bridge project, following months of planning and preparation.

In a carefully coordinated three-and-a-half hour operation on the Hudson River between Westchester and Rockland counties, the I Lift NY super crane hoisted and set one of the project’s largest precast concrete pile caps weighing in at 600 tons. 

“We brought in the I Lift NY super crane to reduce construction time and cost, and this first lift is another symbol that the New NY Bridge is officially on the way,” Thruway Acting Executive Director Robert L. Megna. “The crane is a key tool to building the bridge in a safer, more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly way. With savings of more than a billion dollars for tollpayers, this super crane will continue to do great work.”

Owned by Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC, the design-build contractor for the New York State Thruway Authority, the super crane’s extraordinary capabilities save time and money while enhancing quality and safety by allowing large sections of the bridge to be pre-fabricated off-site and shipped by barge to the construction zone. 

I Lift NY will continue to lift and place sections of the new twin-span bridge — some weighing from 900 to 1,100 tons — and will assist with the dismantling of the existing 60-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge, reducing costs and shortening the deconstruction process. 

The super crane’s boom is 328 feet tall, which is taller than a 30-story building, and can lift up to 1,900 tons, or the equivalent of 12 Statues of Liberty, at once. Despite its enormity, the barge-mounted crane sits high in the water, thereby reducing the need for dredging on the project by 50 percent. 

The I Lift NY super crane made a 6,000-mile journey from the San Francisco Bay area in 2014, passing through the Panama Canal.

Since its arrival here in New York, the crane has gone through months of testing, modifications and upgrades including a new high-tech computer operating system and complete replacement of its rigging cables. The most experienced operating engineers in the area also spent months of specialized training to carefully handle this massive machine. Now that the ice has cleared on the Hudson River, the I Lift NY crane is getting to work on the pile caps and later this year will begin placing the even heavier structural steel beams that will carry the road deck across the new spans.

New NY Bridge Progress
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership and with the support of President Barack Obama and the Federal government, the New NY Bridge project has progressed dramatically since construction began in October 2013 following many years of delay. Since October 2011, steps forward include: enactment of new design-build legislation; review and completion of concurrent environmental review and procurement processes; negotiation of a project labor agreement with construction unions; and recommendation from a panel of local leaders and transportation experts for a comprehensive plan for mass transit options for the region – all with an unprecedented level of transparency and community involvement. 

About the New NY Bridge
The New NY Bridge’s eight traffic lanes, four breakdown and emergency lanes, and state-of-the-art traffic monitoring systems will mean less congestion for motorists. Designed and constructed to be mass-transit-ready, the new crossing will be able to accommodate bus rapid transit, as well as light rail or commuter rail. The bridge will also include a bike and pedestrian shared-use path. Extensive measures are in place throughout the duration of the project to protect the environment and to monitor the impact of construction on surrounding communities.


Type of vessel: Floating Sheerleg Crane 
Propulsion: None 
Hull material: Steel 
Lifting capacity: 1,929 tons 
Length: 384 feet 
Breadth: 99.8 feet 
Depth: 22 feet
Boom length: 328.08 feet
Boom width: 65.7 feet
Min. boom angle for transport: 4 degrees
Min. boom angle for lifting: 19 degrees
Max. boom angle for lifting: 67 degrees

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